When you’re told you can’t stay here, but you can’t go home, where do you go? After being banned from his home in Austin, Texas in 2014 due to American immigration issues, Dave Quanbury found himself in exile back in his old hometown of Winnipeg, Manitoba. Without a place to stay, a job to go to the next day, or the reassurance of knowing when he would see his wife again, the celebrated singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist called a friend for a couch to sleep on.
Previously a member of JUNO-nominated duo Twilight Hotel, Winnipeg was Dave’s home until 2009, when he moved to Austin. As time passed Winnipeg became a tourist destination he visited when he needed to. When Quanbury was forced to stay within the limits of the Canadian border, it was July, but Winnipeg’s defined seasons presented fall as the solitude set in. Then suddenly it was winter and the seclusion entrenched itself.
Winnipeg can be a cold place. It is a stark difference from the spirited streets of Austin. The snow, absorbing sound like thick insulation, quiets everything around and amplifies any feeling of loneliness already rumbling inside you.
Feeling as if he was waiting for something and wasting time by being in Winnipeg, Quanbury funnelled those thoughts into songs written on a borrowed guitar in a garage in Winnipeg’s North End.
With the help of a couple old friends and some talented new ones, Quanbury took the reclusive guitar parts and added the kick of the drum machine, piano, brass, and slide guitar – each addition feeling more like home for both him and the songs.
Still Life With Canadian was recorded and produced by Michael P. Falk (Les Jupes, Ghost Twin) and is being released on Falk’s label Head In The Sand. Recording sessions took place sporadically from 2015 to 2017, songs got re-worked, re-visioned, scrapped, re-started. It was a process of exploration for both Dave and Michael, unencumbered by deadlines or grand plans. Just a couple of friends working on some songs.
The Exile Brass band is a project Quanbury started in Winnipeg in 2016 to stoke the flame that was lit when he first saw a brass band play in the streets of New Orleans. While in Austin, he joined the Minor Mishap Marching Band, which you have definitely run into if you’ve spent much time at SXSW.
Past projects also include alt-americana duo Twilight Hotel with which Quanbury toured North America and Europe to support the release of two JUNO-nominated albums, Highway Prayer (2008) and When The Wolves Go Blind (2010).